Those who regularly travel on West Virginia highways may occasionally see spike-like lug nuts attached to semi trucks and other commercial vehicles. While these spike ornaments are usually made from plastic, they can potentially be made of aluminum or another metal. As such, these lug nuts could potentially be a hazard, particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Part of the problem is that these wheel spikes often extend past the edge of the rim on the wheel. They could potentially come into contact with other vehicles, motorcyclists and pedestrians. In some cases, the spike ornaments could also be seen as intimidating or distracting to other drivers. In fact, in a 2012 case involving a Louisiana crash, the plaintiff noted that the semi truck involved had the spike ornaments attached to the front wheels.
Some states are beginning to take action when it comes to regulating wheel spike ornaments. For example, Hawaii passed legislation that banned “dangerous wheels.” This ban includes wheel covers, hub caps and lug nut covers that could be considered dangerous. The legislation also bans any wheel decorations that extend at least 4 inches beyond the exterior of the wheel rim. Some trucking companies have also banned the use of the spike ornaments in an effort to avoid looking aggressive.
Due to their size and weight, semi trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on U.S. highways. Those who become involved in a semi truck accident could suffer serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and damage to internal organs. In some cases, the injuries could be so severe that they reduce the victim’s quality of life for the long term. A personal injury attorney could prove that the truck driver was liable for the accident and help the injured person negotiate with the insurance company to reach an appropriate settlement.